All the Shining People

All the Shining People

Written by: Friedman, Kathy

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Twelve exquisitely written stories depicting the search for human connection and the attempt to fit in far from home.

All the Shining People explores migration, diaspora, and belonging within Toronto’s Jewish South African community, as individuals come to terms with the oppressive hierarchies that separate, and the connections that bind. Seeking a place to belong, the book’s characters — including a life-drawing model searching the streets for her lover; a woman confronting secrets from her past in the new South Africa; and a man grappling with the legacy of his father, a former political prisoner — crave authentic relationships that replicate the lost feeling of home. With its focus on family, culture, and identity, All the Shining People captures the experiences of immigrants and outsiders with honesty, subtlety, and deep sympathy. 

Twelve exquisitely written stories depicting the search for human connection and the attempt to fit in far from home.

All the Shining People explores migration, diaspora, and belonging within Toronto’s Jewish South African community, as individuals come to terms with the oppressive hierarchies that separate, and the connections that bind. Seeking a place to belong, the book’s characters — including a life-drawing model searching the streets for her lover; a woman confronting secrets from her past in the new South Africa; and a man grappling with the legacy of his father, a former political prisoner — crave authentic relationships that replicate the lost feeling of home. With its focus on family, culture, and identity, All the Shining People captures the experiences of immigrants and outsiders with honesty, subtlety, and deep sympathy. 

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Apr 5, 2022
Specifications 304 pages | 5.5 in x 7 in
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Excerpt
Written By

KATHY FRIEDMAN emigrated with her family from South Africa to the suburbs of Toronto when she was five. She studied creative writing at the University of British Columbia and the University of Guelph, and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Grain, Geist, PRISM international, Canadian Notes & Queries, and the New Quarterly. She teaches creative writing at the University of Guelph and is the co-founder and artistic director of InkWell Workshops. Kathy Friedman lives in Toronto.


kathyfriedman.com 

Twitter: @kathyfriedman7

Instagram: @kathylfriedman

Written By

KATHY FRIEDMAN emigrated with her family from South Africa to the suburbs of Toronto when she was five. She studied creative writing at the University of British Columbia and the University of Guelph, and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Grain, Geist, PRISM international, Canadian Notes & Queries, and the New Quarterly. She teaches creative writing at the University of Guelph and is the co-founder and artistic director of InkWell Workshops. Kathy Friedman lives in Toronto.


kathyfriedman.com 

Twitter: @kathyfriedman7

Instagram: @kathylfriedman

In a dozen loosely connected short stories, [Kathy Friedman] weaves a colourful and rich tapestry of the community — and does so masterfully … While the individual tales shine on their own, each is enriched by the ones that follow, forming a beautiful constellation of work.

” —Canadian Jewish News

In these refined, sophisticated stories, characters mingle and interact, sometimes aware of one another, sometimes not. All the Shining People, like real life, often takes you places you absolutely didn’t expect to go.

” —Gil Adamson, author of The Outlander and Ridgerunner

In these nuanced and inventive stories of connection, identity, disappointment, and love, Friedman explores how we find ourselves in history, living our particular cultural narratives with all their charm, difficulty, and contradiction. With compassion, insight and understanding, she asks, how — living in the diaspora of self — can we find our way home? What is it to be emigrants from our own lives, and how can we find our place? Ultimately, what is it to have a relationship with self, culture, place, and people? All the Shining People finds the universal in the local, and it shines.

” —Gary Barwin, author of Yiddish for Pirates

A smart and adventurous collection of stories that makes visible the South African Jewish diaspora in Toronto. Reminiscent of David Bezmozgis’s Natasha and Other Stories, Friedman’s characters are vivid, desperate, and self-aware. She writes them beautifully. These are subtle stories that simultaneously make the world feel large.

” —Catherine Bush, author of Blaze Island

Remarkable in its scope and its multiplicity of voices, All the Shining People is a dazzling debut from an immensely talented writer. With astonishing compassion and insight, Kathy Friedman has conceived a cast of characters so real they leap off the page. These exquisite stories reveal the fragilities of human connection and our desperate need for redemption. This is a stunningly assured collection that is at once fiercely political and intensely intimate, darkly comic, and devastating.

” —Ayelet Tsabari, author of The Art of Leaving

Powerful and haunting, Kathy Friedman’s characters leap off the page with their journey for belonging. In these stories, people search for connection in community, in their cities, and within their own families, while at the same time juggling the question: Where do I come from? Friedman’s sharp voice and keen attention to detail will reel you in and never let you go.

” —Sidura Ludwig, author of You Are Not What We Expected

Kathy Friedman’s glowing narratives and polished prose thoroughly impress as they shift from South Africa to envelop the Don Valley. And her characters’ emotions — so elegantly spotlighted and revealed — truly leave their mark. Surprising, inventive, and delightfully connected, All the Shining People is a moving debut.

” —Derek Mascarenhas, author of Coconut Dreams

A stunning and masterful collection. I found myself torn between devouring the book in a single sitting and savouring slowly to prolong the magic. True to its name, these stories so beautifully capture the prismatic ways humans illuminate, whether through life-changing kindnesses like seeing those who feel invisible or the harsh light of having one’s flaws suddenly come into focus. In a pointillistic fashion, each story simultaneously offers a profound glimpse of the Jewish diaspora experience while contributing to larger themes like the inherent tension of trying to belong anywhere, both geographically and spiritually.

” —Leesa Dean, author of Waiting for the Cyclone